Chapter 11: - Page 11 of 12

Los Baños

(English version of “El Filibusterismo”)

Puñales, that’s not so! exclaimed Padre Camorra.  We’ll see first who has the biggest fists!

At this point Padre Fernandez, who thus far in the discussion had merely contented himself with smiling, began to talk.  All gave him their attention, for they knew him to be a thoughtful man.

Don’t take it ill of me, Padre Sibyla, if I differ from your view of the affair, but it’s my peculiar fate to be almost always in opposition to my brethren.  I say, then, that we ought not to be so pessimistic.  The instruction in Castilian can be allowed without any risk whatever, and in order that it may not appear to be a defeat of the University, we Dominicans ought to put forth our efforts and be the first to rejoice over it—that should be our policy.  To what end are we to be engaged in an everlasting struggle with the people, when after all we are the few and they are the many, when we need them and they do not need us? Wait, Padre Camorra, wait! Admit that now the people may be weak and ignorant—I also believe that—but it will not be true tomorrow or the day after.  Tomorrow and the next day they will be the stronger, they will know what is good for them, and we cannot keep it from them, just as it is not possible to keep from children the knowledge of many things when they reach a certain age.  I say, then, why should we not take advantage of this condition of ignorance to change our policy completely, to place it upon a basis solid and enduring—on the basis of justice, for example, instead of on the basis of ignorance? There’s nothing like being just; that I’ve always said to my brethren, but they won’t believe me.  The Indian idolizes justice, like every race in its youth; he asks for punishment when he has done wrong, just as he is exasperated when he has not deserved it.  Is theirs a just desire? Then grant it! Let’s give them all the schools they want, until they are tired of them.  Youth is lazy, and what urges them to activity is our opposition.  Our bond of prestige, Padre Sibyla, is about worn out, so let’s prepare another, the bond of gratitude, for example. Let’s not be fools, let’s do as the crafty Jesuits—

Padre Fernandez! Anything could be tolerated by Padre Sibyla except to propose the Jesuits to him as a model.  Pale and trembling, he broke out into bitter recrimination.  A Franciscan first! Anything before a Jesuit! He was beside himself.

Oh, oh!

Eh, Padre—

A general discussion broke out, regardless of the Captain-General.  All talked at once, they yelled, they misunderstood and contradicted one another.  Ben-Zayb and Padre Camorra shook their fists in each other’s faces, one talking of simpletons and the other of ink-slingers, Padre Sibyla kept harping on the Capitulum, and Padre Fernandez on the Summa of St. Thomas, until the curate of Los Baños entered to announce that breakfast was served.

Learn this Filipino word:

maiklî ang paá